Attorneys for Derrick Smith want bribery recordings thrown out

September 25, 2012

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Attorneys for former Illinois Representative Derrick Smith will be in court on Wednesday attacking the credibility of prosecutors and their main witness in an attempt to get incriminating recordings of their client thrown out.

Prosecutors said Smith took a bribe in exchange for writing a letter helping a daycare that was seeking a $50,000 state grant. Prosecutors have a confidential informant who recorded conversations with Smith, including a conversation in which the informant counted out and then handed the politician a $7,000 bribe.

Smith's attorney Vic Henderson said the judge should throw out those recordings because prosecutors understated the informant's criminal history in court papers.

“If you build a case on a shaky foundation, then at least in our experience, the case is bound to fall apart,” Henderson said. 

Prosecutors said the misstatements were made after the recordings and should therefore have no impact on the powerful evidence, and they say they immediately notified the judge when their informant's full criminal history was discovered.

Despite his legal troubles, Smith is still running in the fall election.